Your 1:1 iPad roadmap: 11 essential steps to a successful rollout

Your 1:1 iPad roadmap: 11 essential steps to a successful rollout

iPad and mobile technology is great for education, but implementing a whole-school or year-group 1:1 (that’s one device per user) iPad scheme can be a little daunting. But, with careful planning beforehand (and perhaps a little helping hand from a reliable IT partner…), everything should go smoothly and you’ll be seeing improved learning outcomes and teaching benefits in no time. 

Check out our 1:1 iPad roadmap for the essential steps you need to consider to achieve your 1:1 iPad vision…

Your 1:1 iPad roadmap: Your 11 essential steps to achieving a successful 1:1 iPad rollout

Your 1:1 iPad roadmap

Want to know more about iPad in education? Drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Blackmagic Design announce the new Ursa Mini Pro camcorder

Blackmagic Design announce the new Ursa Mini Pro camcorder

There were collective high fives in the office on hearing Blackmagic Design’s press conference in which they unveiled the new Ursa Mini Pro camcorder. Suited to film, broadcast, and studio work, they’re essentially positioning the new camera as three products in one, which will suit the needs of every shooter. And as it’s launched at a very competitive price point compared to similar cameras on the market, we think everyone else is going to be just as excited as us.

The Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro features an interchangeable lens mount for quickly swapping out Canon EF, cinema PL, or broadcast B4 mounts, and they’ve even got a Nikon F mount on the horizon. The camera’s button layout has been designed for multiple users, with tactile feedback and the ability to access controls in two ways – a big boon for film.

URSA Mini Pro

Just as with the Ursa Mini 4.6K, the Ursa Mini Pro features a Super 35 sensor for higher than DCI 4K resolution and 15 stops of dynamic range. The Ursa Mini Pro can record 4.6K footage at up to 60 frames per second, and your footage is saved to dual CFast or dual SD cards (there’s an optional SSD dock if you need it, too). You can record in a range of formats including Cinema DNG RAW and ProRes 4:4:4 and 4:2:2.

Also announced in Blackmagic Design’s press conference were two new DaVinci Resolve panels, and footage from the Ursa Mini Pro will be well at home in DaVinci Resolve – you even get a full copy of the software included when you buy it! But enough gushing from us – here’s what Blackmagic Design said:

“We are excited about this new model because it really builds on the success of URSA Mini and combines the best digital film technology with the most advanced broadcast features and ergonomics available. URSA Mini Pro is powerful enough to be used on high end feature films and television shows, versatile enough to be used for broadcast news and live multi camera event production, and affordable enough for indie filmmakers and even students!”

URSA Mini Pro Rear Angle - blog

The Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro is available to preorder from Jigsaw24 now. Currently shooting with the the original, first generation Ursa? Blackmagic Design have kindly said they’ll be offering an upgrade option to the Ursa Mini Pro, whereby you pay a set amount, keep your beloved Ursa, and get the new version for a reduced price!

Want to know more about the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

How to set up the Atomos Flame series with the Sony FS7

How to set up the Atomos Flame series with the Sony FS7

Want to get the most our of your Sony PXW-FS7? This video takes you step by step through how to set up an Atomos Flame series recorder with the FS7, and how connecting with Atomos dramatically adds value with more professional monitoring and recording functionality.

Sony FS7 Setup with the Atomos Flame Series from Atomos Video on Vimeo.

For more information on the Sony FS7 and Atomos Flame range, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 306. For everything else, ‘like’ us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24.

Video: Easy client backup and archiving

Video: Easy client backup and archiving

In this presentation, Jigsaw24’s backup specialists Tom and Phill show us step by step a fast, efficient and worry-free way to back up and archive, featuring CrashPlan by Code42 and YoYotta ID.

Want to know more about backup and archiving? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 288, email solutions@Jigsaw24.com or visit www.Jigsaw24.com/solutions.

How to upgrade your Mac to macOS Sierra

How to upgrade your Mac to macOS Sierra

Making sure your Mac end users are all on the same operating system is important. Not only does it mean everyone has access to the same great new macOS features, but some software only runs on certain versions of the OS, so what you don’t want is different people with different software versions, making files incompatable.

And while brand new Mac computers will ship with the latest version of macOS pre-installed, if you’re using older machines, and want the latest iteration of Apple’s operating system, you’ll need to upgrade. So here’s a quick step-by-step guide to upgrading individual Macs to macOS Sierra, if they’re not already managed in a device management solution.

macOS Sierra requirements

First thing’s first, you’ll need to know whether your Mac can actually support the latest version of macOS (but don’t worry, we can tell you this!), as not all older hardware and operating systems do. Apple advise you’ll also need at least 2GB of RAM and 8.8GB of free storage space to install macOS Sierra, although we would recommend much higher than 2GB RAM – at least 4GB but ideally 8GB.

To find out what model your Mac is, plus your memory, storage, and version of OS X, choose About This Mac from the Apple menu (). Supported Mac models are iMac (Late 2009 or newer), MacBook (Late 2009 or newer), MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or newer), MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer), Mac mini (Mid 2010 or newer) and Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or newer).

Installing macOS Sierra

Already using OS X El Capitan v10.11.5 or later? macOS Sierra will automatically download for you in the background. When it’s finished downloading, you’ll get a notification telling you Sierra is ready to be installed. You can either click Install to get started straight away, or put it off till later by dismissing the notification, if more convenient.

If you’re using an operating system older than OS X El Capitan v10.11.5, here’s what you need to do:

1. Back up your Mac. Whether it’s to Time Machine, a NAS, or enterprise cloud storage, backing up your machine before you install any upgrades is always good practice.

2. Open the Mac App Store app on your Mac from the Applications folder, Launchpad, Spotlight or the Apple menu ().

3. If macOS Sierra doesn’t show automatically, search the App Store for macOS Sierra, or go directly to the macOS Sierra page.

4. Click the Download button on the macOS Sierra page. A file named Install macOS Sierra downloads to your Applications folder.

5. After it’s finished downloading, Install macOS Sierra opens automatically. Click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.

Upgrading managed devices

If you’re already using a device management solution, you’re already applying settings, permissions and packages to new devices as soon as they’re turned on. That means the minute a new user logs in, their device starts loading the software you want them to have, and you have clear visibility over any changes. You’re then able to roll out operating system updates to all your end users’ devices at once at a strategic time (after you’ve tested them for compatibility with your core business software, of course) without even touching them.

Want to know more about Apple and managed devices? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.


The results from our 2017 IT in Creative Business Survey

The results from our 2017 IT in Creative Business Survey

Growing pains are commonplace for budding creative agencies, and they’re not helped by IT that lags behind the requirements of the business. So we teamed up with Kingston Smith, a leading business advisory firm, to find out a little bit more about the challenges facing creative companies in 2017. Here are a few of the key findings from our 2017 IT in Creative Business survey, along with solutions and services we’ve developed to help businesses overcome their IT challenges.

Taking care of your IT

Of the businesses we surveyed, 61.5% said they lacked a dedicated IT department, while a further 15.4% said that just one IT manager carried the load for their company. For those without an IT manager, 25% told us that their Finance Director handles all the tech stuff, and an additional 25% said their IT was overseen by the owner, managing director or studio head.

If your IT is managed by an individual, you could do with someone dedicated to take care of your tech, so you can focus on keeping your company at the cutting edge of creativity and productivity, and suffer minimal downtime. We offer a full portfolio of IT services, from reactive support like Apple repairs right through to complete IT outsourcing, depending on your requirements and circumstances.

Challenges to productivity

We asked businesses what they saw as the biggest challenges to their productivity. The highest ranked answer was ‘Ensuring consistent network connectivity and bandwidth’, or making sure they stay online all the time. ‘Security’ was the second most important consideration for respondents, with ‘Backing up and managing digital assets’ following closely, and ‘Sourcing a reliable IT partner’, ‘Supply and employment of appropriate IT skills’, ‘Disaster recovery/business continuity’ and ‘Working within the IT budget’ all figuring highly too.

Many of the respondents identified that an outsourced IT department was helping them deal with these challenges. If similar considerations are facing your business, we can help. Our services help you survive and thrive in a changing IT landscape, with solutions for storage and backup, networking and infrastructure, managing devices and keeping productive in the cloud.

Backing up files

Backup and archive are essential for business continuity in the event of hardware failure – after all, you can’t save what you haven’t saved. Making sure backups are happening frequently enough to save key assets but fast enough not to impact application availability becomes more of a problem as you work with larger files and more complex projects.

We asked how businesses were currently backing up their files, and it seems more and more companies are now using cloud-based systems, with 50% saying they use cloud-based backups, followed by offsite backup (41.7%), tape drives (33.3%), server backups (29.2%) and ‘other’ (4.2%).

If you’re looking to protect your assets against the unknown, you’ll be interested in our Backup24 solution. Developed for creatives who need secure, offsite protection for their intellectual property and digital media assets, with Backup24, you can leave everything with us – we’ll tell you if anything goes wrong, so you can carry on working without the management headache!

Managing your IT budget

Of course, underpinning your IT choices is always budget. It was interesting to hear from those surveyed exactly what their IT budget went towards, with storage and software taking the lion’s share for most businesses (excluding staff spend). Storage and servers was the biggest contributor to IT budgets with 72.7%, tied at the top spot with software licences (also 72.7%). Hardware was next with 68.2%, WiFi and broadband took 40.9% and tech support just 27.3%.

Refreshing your IT

With technology constantly evolving, it’s important to make sure your IT is up to date and you’re at the front of the productivity pack by refreshing your IT every now and then. Other benefits of regularly refreshing your IT include better software compatibility, and having the most up to date software and hardware with improved features (new devices are generally more energy-efficient too).

We asked businesses how often they aim to refresh their IT, and interestingly most companies aim to refresh every three years (33.3%), while 28.6% aimed for a two year cycle, and 9.5% aimed to refresh annually. However, it was then revealed that most actually refreshed their IT estate four or more years ago (38.1%).

Challenges in the future

We ended the survey by asking respondents to identify which key challenges they thought they would be faced with over the next few years. The main things people pointed to were security, infrastructure and storage, as well as generally keeping up to date with new technology. As one respondent pointed out “The hacker challenge gets greater the more we rely on our systems and the number of hackers with more than malice driving them, is growing exponentially.”

Other points include: “software development and the death of flash in online advertising”; “reliable connectivity to the outside world’; “Sourcing a new database/CRM package that is right for us”; “Expansion overseas, maintaining consistent user experience.”

Of the most important emerging technology trends of the next few years, many of those we surveyed mentioned moving to the cloud. This is clearly a very exciting trend across all industries, one that many creative companies are looking to be involved (more) with. Other big talking points included sharing and realtime collaboration, as well as anywhere file access. As the businesses we surveyed were creative companies, one big concern was the increasing amount of data, particularly for designers.

Want to know more about creative IT and how to keep up with IT trends and challenges? Get in touch with the team to talk through our IT services and solutions for creative businesses. Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email solutions@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Why you need backup for your devices AND your server

Why you need backup for your devices AND your server

We’re always bigging up backup for business, but nowadays, just having a device-based backup strategy won’t cut it. If your server suddenly went down, would your teams still be able to carry on working? 

Backing up your server gives you disaster recovery, or the ability to recover data if disaster strikes, be that a system crash, hard drive failure, or if any files get corrupted or accidentally deleted. Having resilient infrastructure with data stored in multiple places also gives you business continuity, meaning you can keep up and running.

Client/device-based backup lets end users restore their machine back to its pre-disaster state and recover any files you need, so you can get your laptop back quickly and hassle-free. If you’re already using Macs, you’ll be familiar (or if not, you should be) with Apple’s Time Machine tool, which automatically backs up files to an external hard drive so you can restore them later or revert to a previous version of your desktop. But for a more enterprise-friendly solution, we suggest Code 42’s CrashPlan. CrashPlan works in the background on your computers to silently and continuously back up all distributed end-user data so you have complete visibility and control on a single, secure platform.

All your end users should be working from the server, and your server data should be backed up on a regular basis. Even mobile workers should ensure they’re saving back to the server rather than locally to their devices, and if they can’t access the server temporarily, should sync back to it once they do have access.

If you’re looking at improving your backup, get in touch with our expert storage team to talk backup strategy and business continuity, based on your current business requirements. We can discuss:

– The size of your current data set.

– How your data is stored.

– What type of files you’re dealing with – large HD video files or lots of smaller files.

– Data turnover rates so we can determine the bandwidth needed to backup your data effectively.

– Data growth rate.

– Retention period – how long you require historic snapshots of the data to be kept for.

– Bandwidth – the speed of your internet connection

– Security – whether encryption is required.

Want to know more about backup? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email solutions@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

 

Vidcheck release Telestream Vidchecker 7.1 software

Vidcheck release Telestream Vidchecker 7.1 software

Vidcheck have just released version 7.1 of their awesome video quality control application Vidchecker and Vidchecker-Post. Vidchecker 7.1 packs in some exciting new features to help content creators and deliverers save the cost of rejecting and reworking footage. And for Telestream Vantage users, the integration between Vantage and Vidchecker offers even more complete workflow options.

This new version adds the following new features:

Support for HDR colour space ITU Rec. 2020. Vidchecker and Vidchecker-Post will now detect when content is in the ITU Rec. 2020 color space and adjust tests accordingly. This would particularly pique the interest of anyone creating or working with content for HDR consumption.

Added AMWA AS-10 templates. Added templates based around the Canal + version of AMWA’s AS10 specification (French broadcasters, take note).

Updated suite of ARD/ZDF templates for v1.1 of IRT MXF profiles. ARD/ZDF testing is key for anyone concerned with delivering content in the German market.

Vantage integration. Telestream’s media processing platform, Vantage, will notify you if your file is corrected by Vidchecker.

Want to know more about Vidcheck’s solutions for post, broadcast, distribution and archive? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Upgrade to CINEMA 4D R18 and save up to 25%

Upgrade to CINEMA 4D R18 and save up to 25%

If you’ve been putting off upgrading your Maxon CINEMA 4D R15 to the latest version, CINEMA 4D R18, we’ve got a couple of offers on that should help ease the transition. Until 31st March, you can upgrade and save up to 25% on Maxon’s 3D software.

Any CINEMA 4D R15 owners taking out a Maxon Service Agreement (MSA) is eligible for a massive 25% off the normal upgrade price when going for CINEMA 4D R18. But even if you don’t opt for an MSA, you can still get 15% off.

The MSA is an annual licensing agreement for CINEMA 4D users that makes the whole purchasing process much easier, especially for companies working with fixed budgets – no more surprises when planning next year’s expenses. All upgrades are automatically sent to MSA customers immediately upon release. In addition to the most up-to-date software version, MSA participants also receive an annual subscription to Maxon’s Cineversity portal for tutorials, templates and plug-ins.

What’s new in CINEMA 4D R18

Not already been convinced to upgrade to CINEMA 4D R18 from R15? Here are just a handful of reasons which may sway you:

Voronoi fracture object – a native feature in the MoGraph toolset in Cinema 4D that works seamlessly with Dynamics. Allows users to tear down walls and create artistic procedural geometry using spline or polygon objects to define the fractured shape.

Interactive knife tools – enable users to draw lines across a model and tweak the cut with an interactive preview, then lock in new edges or split based on the cut; knife tools are available as separate commands for easy access to the desired mode via shortcut or Commander.

Object motion tracking – expanded tools for integrating your Cinema 4D creations into real-world footage, by replacing objects with your 3D designs.

Shaders and surface effects – advanced rendering tools for creating iridescent surfaces such as bubbles and oil slicks, for capturing shadows for more efficient compositing, parallax mapping for enhanced bump effects, and creating masks for worn edges using inverse ambient occlusion.

Substance engine integration – download compiled Allegorithmic Substances and utilise them to surface your Cinema 4D objects. This fully-integrated implementation offers outstanding workflow and flexibility, plus options to cache Substances on disk for better performance.

Want to know more about Maxon CINEMA 4D? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

From SAN to NAS: Your at a glance guide to storage

From SAN to NAS: Your at a glance guide to storage

Don’t know your SAN from your NAS? This quick guide will run you through the ten most common types of storage, from internal and external hard drives, to storage area network and network-attached storage, by way of solid state drives (SSDs), magnetic tape storage and RAID… 

Internal hard drives

Certainly the most common form of data storage is an internal hard drive – if you’re purchasing a ready-made notebook or workstation, it’ll generally already come included. They allow you to store files in a single computer, and come in the form of a traditional spinning disk hard drive, or more efficient solid state drive (SSD).

Pros: The convenience of internal hard drives is a major plus point, as they usually come bundled in with your new computer. They’re great for use with a single computer, but given proper support, can also be shared among multiple machines.

Cons: Limited capacity is a drawback, as is the fact that without special support, you’re confined to a single computer or server.

 

External hard drives

As well as internal hard drives, if you’re saving large files, you’re probably familiar with external hard drives. These are used throughout creative and business environments for local backup and archiving of data, and are usually small enough to sit happily on your desk.

Pros: The main upside of external hard drives is that they can be moved around multiple computers and users in your studio or office.

Cons: Just as with internal hard drives, external hard drives can be hamstrung by limited capacity. It can also be incredibly awkward to physically transfer data among multiple computers using external hard drives.

 

Solid state drives (SSDs)

As mentioned above, solid state storage can come in the form of an internal hard drive that ships with your Mac or other workstation, or as external hard drives. The external, portable variety are used for everyday simple file swapping and local data transfer, and larger capacity drives are often used for more heavy duty work like video processing, relational databases and high-speed data acquisition, either as an internal or external drive.

Pros: The main advantage of solid state storage is that, unlike your traditional spinning disk hard drive, they have no moving parts, which generally means there are fewer components which could potentially fail. They also have high read/write speeds, and the portable, external variety have a small form factor which makes them incredibly portable or chuck-in-your-laptop-bag-able.

Cons: On the downside, solid state storage has limited storage capacity, with many mobile drives topping out at around 1 or 2TB, and cost more than hard drives.

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Storage area network (SAN)

If you’re working with large databases, bandwidth-hungry and mission-critical applications, the above options are not the drives you are looking for. Storage area network (SAN) is a cover-all term for a network that gives multiple users block level access (as opposed to file level) to multiple storage devices and arrays, accessible to servers so that the devices appear to the operating system as locally attached devices. SANs are widely used by enterprises working with large amounts of data and apps.

Pros: The main reason you’d want to go for SAN is for consolidated block storage. SAN is also exceptionally reliable, widely available, very tolerant of faults, and super scalable, so you can expand on your SAN as your business grows.

Cons: One minus point with SAN is its high cost, which can be prohibitive to smaller businesses. Traditionally you’d also require a dedicated network, separate from the network supporting desktops. Managing SAN can be quite complex too, which could cause a few headaches.

 

Fibre Channel

Fibre Channel is a type of SAN used to connect shared storage to servers. Its high speed means it can often be found in datacentres and offsite storage dealing with large databases, bandwidth-intensive and mission-critical applications.

Pros: Fibre Channel lets you transmit data between devices at super-fast gigabit speeds (often at 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 gigabit per second rates).

Cons: As it is a SAN though, it can be prohibitively expensive, and complex to manage.

 

iSCSI storage

Another type of SAN, iSCSI (or Internet Small Computer Systems Interface, if you’re not in a hurry), is a standard that provides block-level access to storage devices over an Ethernet network. As with Fibre Channel, it’s used for linking data storage facilities, SANs, for offsite storage and mission-critical applications.

Pros: iSCSI lets you transmit data between devices using existing network infrastructure, rather than dedicated cabling, so you can run it over long distances.

Cons: Although, it doesn’t compare as favourably with Fibre Channel when it comes to large database transfers, and is also equally complex to manage.

 

Network-attached storage (NAS)

Used for data storage and file stores, a NAS is effectively a file server often built as a computer appliance (a purpose-built specialised computer), and tends to be managed remotely, usually by a web-based GUI. The device provides access to storage at file level, rather than at a block level like SAN, using a variety of protocols, such as NFS, SMB/CIFS, and AFP. It provides local area network (LAN) nodes with file-based shared storage through your standard Ethernet connection, giving multiple clients on the network access to the same files.

Pros: NAS is great as it gives fast file access it multiple clients, it’s easy to share data, has high storage capacity, is easy to mirror drives, and lets you consolidate all your resources in one place. Redundancy, backing up copies of files, also means you’re protected against data loss in the event of a disk failure.

Cons: It is, however, less convenient than a storage area network (SAN) for moving large blocks of data.

 

D2D2T storage

Disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) is a backup and archiving system in which, as you may have guessed, data is first copied to backup storage on a disk storage system, then periodically copied again to a tape storage system. It’s often used for incremental backups of data, storage virtualisation, offsite storage and data archiving.

Pros: Upsides are redundancy (which safeguards against data loss), a high read/write speed for quick data transfer, and high capacity (use multiple tapes to your heart’s content).

Cons: The only problem with D2D2T storage is that it’s complex to manage.

Magnetic tape

A tape drive is a data storage device that reads and writes data on a magnetic tape. You’ll generally find these used for data archiving and offline storage, and are much favoured by the budget-conscious business.

Pros: The main thing tape storage has going for it is its low cost per megabyte. They’re also a fairly portable form of data storage, plus you get unlimited capacity, as you can always add more tapes.

Cons: However, tapes make it inconvenient to quickly recover individual files or groups of files, and you may have to buy quite expensive housing if you have lots of tape.

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RAID storage

A redundant array of independent disks (thankfully known more widely by the acronym RAID) is simply a method of combining multiple physical disks into a single unit for performance and/or reliability, and is used in pretty much every SAN, NAS and DAS array. RAID lets you easily swap files, and gives ‘data redundancy’, which essentially means you don’t lose data if a single disk fails, and lets you correct errors to protect against data loss.

Pros: RAID is high speed, high capacity, high data availability storage that’s reliable, secure and gives you fault tolerance in the face of disk failure (ie peace of mind).

Cons: RAID users may unfortunately develop a false sense of security though, with recovery from failure difficult in some systems. And if you’re looking at a high-end optimum system, be prepared for a high price tag.

 

Want to know more about storage solutions? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com. or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.